Quick Five Minutes Mindfulness Fixes for Stress Relief!

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Exams are around the corner and everyone is under stress. Do you recognise the signs of stress? What do you do to help de-stress? Take a quick 5 minute break to read this and perhaps it will help you learn some quick 5 minute fixes to stress.

We all know we are stressed because of exams/assignments and most of all because we all want to get great results or at least pass the modules! Sometimes we are actually so stressed and fighting against stress/anxiety we don’t even realise it and it can feel awful. Deep down we are all scared of failure and guess what? we’re not alone.

There are millions of students like us all over the world who experience short and long-term stress/anxiety because of exams/assignments deadlines looming over us like an executioners axe. So, what do we do about it? We PROCRASTINATE. Well some of us do… lots of time wasted surfing the web and social media. Watching box sets on Netflix or gaming online.

I know I do a lot of procrastinating and before I know it, suddenly the clock has fast forward 3 hours and I feel that pounding in my head or my chest suddenly feels tighter and my stomach feels queasy. I also comfort eat a lot! Lots of junk food and a take-away is much easier than cooking and washing up, only problem is then the pounds start piling on and that slim toned figure begins to turn to into my stressed out student body.

But, I also arrange to go out and have fun – some drinks at home first then the pub and move onto a club. That’s the whole night gone! Wake up in the morning with a hangover or just a thumping head from lack of sleep. Painkillers and lots of coffee and I feel semi-human and get on with my revising and writing assignments. I do this a lot – the sad and awful truth is that it does impact on the performance and end results. I know that I can do better only I don’t, because I have not managed my stress and anxiety and instead I have done everything to avoid the important and stress inducing work that needs to be done. Which then results in my performance and end results in exams and assignments being much worse than what I am capable of achieving.

Speaking of poor performance and end results, anyone notice how stress impacts on relationships and sexual libido??? Not great, that’s for sure. My partner is getting quite irate at hearing not now, leave me alone, I have too much to do!!!

The first point of call for if you’re feeling stressed is the Loughborough University website (http://www.lboro.ac.uk/).

Use the search bar for information on what is happening or available from the university on campus. For example, if you prefer learning and working in groups then check out the Pilkington Library website because often there are sessions on time management and planning. Your department will possibly have a named librarian and if not, email the library if you need help researching or finding a book.

Also check out what the LSU is providing! There are a large number of diverse LSU Societies catering to many different people. Get in touch with the LSU Welfare & Diversity team they will definitely point you in the right direction and often they are running great activities for stress relief. Don’t just take my word for it check out this link and read all about how successful all the different LSU societies are here: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/news/2018/may/lsu-societies-hard-work-celebrated/.

Quick 5 minute fixes and health and nutrition tips. To help with some of the less serious common problems. I have also included some links to websites that are very useful and helpful if you are suffering with any of these symptoms and not coping alone.

Water

We constantly lose water from our bodies, especially in the summer season. You may think that you are plenty hydrated because you are not running around as much as all the sports students. When in fact everyone is losing essential hydration primarily through urine and sweat. Opinions do differ on how much we should be drinking per day, according to health authorities; the recommended amount is 2 litres per day. Let’s break that down into simpler terms always keep a 500ml water bottle with you and remember to drink it.

500ml taken 4 times a day = 1 litre

When studying remember to take 5 minutes of regular breaks every 45 minutes to hydrate your mind, body and soul.

I know we all carry water bottles, energy drinks and we are drinking plenty. Only this time I am encouraging you to take that 5 minutes every 45 minutes to stop everything. When you are quietly studying, writing or revising actually stop and enjoy the time it takes to quench your thirst. If possible really focus your mind on the action of drinking water and for those 5 minutes do your best not to think of the books or computer screen in front of you. Think of something nice, picture your favourite place and find a calm zone in your mind for 5 minutes. I would also recommend you set a timer for all of these regular breaks.

Nutrition

It is very important to eat healthy food and not junk. Junk food tastes great, is quick and easy to either order a take away or go and collect if you are very hungry. Which is often the case because the cupboards and fridge/freezers are perhaps empty. Some of you may have noticed how you feel after a junk food meal. Do you feel bloated, slightly nauseous, uncomfortable, tummy ache, indigestion, heartburn… these are all signs of stress too, made worse by eating junk food especially if you eat this in a hurry because you are clock watching and have a deadline!

Try stocking up every week and use eggs, beans, and seeds. Cereals with high fibre and multi vitamin contents and long life milk. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a bad idea if you are too busy to cook so stock up on the frozen fruits and vegetables. They are cheaper too. Get the cheaper cuts of meat and freeze them. These all taste great and these days you can get 5 minute recipes online and just throw ingredients together for a nutritional healthy meal. Did I already mention the word cheap? Especially if you buy in bulk.

Exercise

How many of us have time to exercise? Of course at Loughborough University the students that are sports fanatics and training every day for a specific sport or team are fine, but what about those of us that only exercise recreationally; to stay fit?

I mean really how many of us had time today to exercise? We should probably just forget about it! Who has the time, motivation or energy? Unfortunately that is the WRONG attitude. Recent research shows that there’s many benefits of working out as short as five minutes and sweating a little bit. Yes! Just five minutes. In fact no need to even sweat! Sceptical? Well here’s a few tips on how mini 5 minute workouts can rejuvenate and boost your energy levels and sweep out the cobwebs. Go ahead give them a try and notice the improvement to your health and strengthen your body.

“After all, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion says that aerobic activity lasting longer than 10 minutes in duration counts toward the 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise you should aim to get each week. But that doesn’t mean shorter, high-intensity exercises can’t help. Benefits of regular exercise include everything from losing weight to getting better sleep to increasing energy levels. Keeping fit can also help tremendously with your self-confidence. So, shouldn’t anything count toward this goal? Well, researchers are discovering that even exercise sessions as short as a minute may help you keep fit and active”

(https://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/chapter4.aspx)

Head ache? Back ache? Lower back pain? Shoulder and neck pain? Sitting in one position on a chair or cross legged can give you these symptoms of stress, physical stress. What you need to do is get up for 5 minute work outs!

Go ahead try these 5 minute work outs, Repeat hourly:

  • Hip flexing exercises Repeat hourly up to 10 times.
  • Neck Rolls. Tilt the head to the right and slowly roll it down (chin to chest) and to the left (making a “U” shape)
  • Neck Stretches. Bend right ear to the right shoulder
  • Cross-Body Arm Stretch
  • Angular Neck Stretch
  • Low-Back Hand Clasp. …
  • Reverse Prayer Pose
  • Shoulder Stretches
  • Star jumps
  • Any style of fast dancing, disco, salsa, foxtrot, twerking….
  • Jogging on the spot
  • Fast running on the spot

Well that’s all and if this has helped in anyway and you wish to know more just use the links provided or search online using key words and phrases for more information and details.

If anyone is struggling a lot please do not ignore the signs. Ask for help and as a student the first place to ask is the Student Support Services inside the Bridgeman Building. All support services are here all in one place. Financial Advice, Disability Support, Mental Health Support and Counselling too. The hardest step is the first one, seeking help. I can confidently reassure you that the team of staff are fantastic! Great empathy and understanding, whatever your problems are they really do support students every step of the way. You can reach out to them by self-referring or emailing them your enquiry:

Wishing you all the best of luck for the rest of this academic year!!!!

Anwara Tarafdar

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About Author

I'm Rebecca, I study Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough whilst also being the assistant editor for Label 17/18!x If you have anything you would like to write about or any queries, email me: rebeccalaurag@gmail.com

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